Sunday, May 15, 2011

Update: Last Days in the Abacos Before Heading Home

What a trip this has been! We have had great weather, met awesome new friends, visited with friends we met from last year’s trip, seen some of the most beautiful water in the world and caught 2 fish. Yea, that’s right, two lousy fish. A “Horse Eyed Jack” and really small “Mutton Snapper” which I released. Good thing we didn’t have to rely on my fishing skills to eat or we would be real skinny now. I wanted to believe there were no fish in the area and it wasn’t a reflection of my fishing skills. Well, my fishing ego has a serious hole in it. We recently talked to many cruising sailors who have caught more than their fair share of fish this year. Guess I need to take some fishing lessons before next season.

Anyway, enough of that! Our last two weeks in the Abacos were pretty busy in cruising terms. After Easter weekend, we moved back to Hope Town and had several great visits with our friends Lance and Debbie, Jeff and EA and Milo and Linda from North Carolina who rented cottages on the Hope Town harbor. These guys have been coming to Hope Town for many years and always rent an Albury Brothers center console runabout. They invited us to go with them down to White Sound and Sea Spray Marina for lunch. After lunch we anchored on Tahiti Beach for a walk and then hit Cracker P’s for afternoon adult beverages. What a great day! 

The stories these guys can tell keep us in stitches all day. My sides still hurt. Somehow the subject of fishing came up and low and behold the only fish Lance and Jeff caught last season was a “Horse Eyed Jack”. Ah, we have something in common. We fished all season and all we caught was a “Horse Eyed Jack”. During the conversation, it was revealed that a story was written (complete with illustrations) about Lance and Jeff’s fishing expedition which produced 1 uneatable “Horse Eyed Jack”. The group now refers to them as “Horsey Eyed Jacks”. Borrowing a line from a friend, I told Lance “we would never amount to anything” when it comes to fishing. 

The next day we were invited to join the group for a run over to Guana Cay and Grabbers restaurant. We had lunch served up with you guessed it, adult beverages and lots of funny stories. After lunch we ran up to Baker’s Bay Marina and resort to hob knob with the rich and famous. Man, what a beautiful place loaded with Mega Yachts. We found out later that the 1st large Jet to ever land at the Marsh Harbour airport came in from New York with 50 or so passengers with thick wallets headed for Baker’s Bay. Not sure if they were F’n with us, but everyone we talked to at the bar said they had either lived previously in the Triangle Area or were moving to the RTP area in the future. The world seems small sometimes. We ran the boat back to Hope Town and prepared for a steak on the grill party at Milo and Linda’s cottage. We had a fabulous dinner from the grill garnished with funny stories and booozzzz. We are truly blessed to have Debbie, Lance, Jeff, EA, Milo and Linda as friends. The time we spent with them was a highlight of our trip. We will always be thankful to them. I also have to thank Jeff over and over again for turning me onto his Ipod. Jeff knows his music.

We left Hope Town after getting haircuts and re-provisioning the boat - destination Green Turtle Cay. The route takes you around the infamous Whale Cay otherwise known as the Whale. It’s one of the dangerous passage points in the Abaco area. It is where the open ocean swells and waves ride up on the shallow bank that is the Sea of Abaco. Even in mild conditions the Whale can be uncomfortable due to the swells, tide and wind interaction. We picked a good window and had a fairly comfortable passage around the Whale to Green Turtle. 

We anchored “Wind Dust” off New Plymouth and ran the dinghy into Black Sound to check out the marina and the channel depths. We saw our friends on “Casual Class” and “DayO” and arranged to meet them at Pineapples bar and restaurant. Now Lavonne at Pineapples bar knows how to make a drink and she made us several while we were BS’n with our friends Stew and Diana (s/v Casual Class), Walt and Maggie (Day’O). 

Friday at high tide we transited the entrance channel to Black Sound and made our way to the tee dock at Black Sound Marina. Black Sound Marina is owned by Roy Boles and Roy makes everyone feel right at home. What a great Marina and place to meet great people. We spent several days at Black Sound and enjoyed the Island Roots Heritage Festival and dinner with our friends before preparing to head back to the states. 

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